2017 Annual Member and Friends Party


RBG Exclusive Experiences

RBG Exclusive Experiences:
Try something new while supporting the Garden! An Exclusive Experience is something you will find only through the Garden. Each experience offers a unique and fun way to unwind with friends while supporting Ruth's legacy.

Use the payment buttons below or call the office to secure your spot today!   925-944-9352

Tickets are not issued for these events.Your name is added to the guest list and details for each event are sent to you about a month before the posted date.


Mushroom Foray and Cooking Class

Donated by Ken Litchfield

Date: Saturday, January 20, 2018

Price: $150 each

Limit 12 people

Place: Local hills and OmniCommons

Call the office 925-944-9352 or use button below to to join the hunt!


The East Bay Hills come to life during the winter rainy season, as do a variety of beautiful and remarkable mushrooms! Join The Bancroft Garden and Ken Litchfield for a mushroom foray. Learn how to find, identify and classify our local bounty of woodland mushrooms. You will learn the principles of proper foraging for safety and stewardship. Shhh…we’ll visit some special secret mushroom spots to learn how to forage on your own in like habitats as responsible stewards of the wilds.

Following our daytime foray we'll gather for a special mushroom cook-up at OmniCommons in Oakland. At this experimental laboratory/production kitchen, you will have the opportunity to sample many different cultivated and wild foraged mushrooms, prepared to show off their distinctive flavors and textures. This will be a hands-on experience in the kitchen!

Mushroom Expert and Instructor Bio: Ken is currently a naturalist with a professional background working and teaching in science, writing, technical illustration, computer graphics, photography, lapidary, herbalism, and human health and fitness. He consults, instructs, and trains at various organizations and institutions and lives and works on farms. He is also the Cultivation Chair for the Mycological Society of San Francisco, and incorporates the fermentation arts into his activities and teachings. One of his specialties is candy cap prickly pear herbal mead using all local, personally foraged, and cultivated ingredients.


Amphora Lafayette - After Hours Party

Donated by Nate Bradley of Amphora Lafayette

Date: Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018

Price: $50 each

Limit: 20 guests

Place: Amphora - Lafayette

Time: 6:30 pm

Call the office 925-944-9352 or use button below to join the party and learn all you don't know about olive oil!


In this exclusive after hours event, guests can expect an interactive, seated presentation! An industry expert will go over the ins and outs of the olive oil world, industry fraud, immense health benefits and we will share all of our delicious recipes! Upon completion, guests will have the run of the shop and the opportunity to taste over 50 unique olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars! My self and another staff member will be on hand to answer questions and offer suggestions. All guests in attendance will receive an exclusive 20% discount on all oils and balsamic vinegars on the night of the event. We guarantee guests will leave the shop with a new found appreciation for authentic extra virgin olive oil and barrel aged Italian balsamic vinegars.


A Vintage Tea Party Image result for vintage tea party

Hosted and Donated by Melissa Allen and Elisabeth Andreason


Date: Saturday, May 12, 2018

Price: $50 each

Limit 12 people

Place: Walnut Creek

Time: 2 pm

Call the office 925-944-9352 or use button below to come for afternoon tea and yummy treats!

Enjoy a tea party in a beautiful park-like backyard in Concord. Host Melissa will share her family heirloom tea sets, and upon arrival you will choose the teacup in the pattern that most speaks to your heart.  Nibble tasty scones & tea sandwiches while learning a bit of tea history. Our tea sets are formal, but you can choose to wear a hat and gloves or dress more casual. This will be a gluten and carbohydrate-laden event of homemade delights! 


Comedy Night in the Sculpture Garden

Donated by Gail Giffen and Chris Pisarra

Date: May 19, 2018

Price: $50/person

Limit 50 guests

Place: Lafayette

Call the office 925-944-9352 or use button below to join the party!

Join Gail and Chris, and friends, in Gail and Chris's stunning sculpture garden and home in Lafayette. Enjoy and evening of comedy, wine, beer and nibbles.


Old Fashioned Pig Roast

Donated by Kristin Yanker-Hansen, Dick Hansen, and Ellen and Jorge Sanchez

Date: June 2, 2018

Price: $150 per person

Limit 20 people

Place: Danville

Call the office 925-944-9352 or use button below to join the feast!

Join Kristin and Dick Hansen and Ellen and Jorge Sanchez at the Sanchez park-like home in Danville for an old fashioned pig roast. You will see a whole pig roasted in a “La Caja Chinese Roasting Box” and enjoy some of the best pork you have ever tasted, along with gourmet accompaniments.


Bocce & Barbeque -- Gourmet food and fun

Donated by Melissa Allen and Elisabeth Andreason

Date: June 23, 2018

Price: $125 per person

Limit 12 people

Place: Walnut Creek

Call the office 925-944-9352 or click the button below to come play!

Learn to play bocce in a beautiful backyard in Walnut Creek. Your evening will begin with delectable appetizers, followed by a fresh, seasonal gourmet dinner. Dine alfresco, then enjoy a game of lawn bocce - we will teach you how to play, and this is not a formal game but will certainly be a fun romp! Dessert to follow.

“What a wonderful feeling we had in the garden. The fabulous food, the Hawk watching, and finally learning how to play Bocce. My Husband decided this was going to be the new lawn sport at our house!" Kristin Yanker-Hansen

Calicraft Brewery & Beer Tasting

Donated by Calicraft Brewery

Date: Mid-September, 2018 (Date TBD based on harvest times)

Price: $75 per person

Limit 20 people

Place: Calicraft Brewery, Walnut Creek

Call the office 925-944-9352 or click the button below to enjoy a taste of The Wobblies!

An exclusive taste of a unique beer blend! Every fall, Calicraft Brewery in Walnut Creek produces a one-of-a-kind beer called The Wobblies. This special libation is made with locally grown hops and is only available for limited time. Taste the 2018 release as well as other beers and mixers currently on tap at Calicraft. Additionally, the owner of Calicraft and the farmers who produce the hops will engage and enlighten on the history of growing and brewing hops. Snacks provided by RBG.

Catalan Paella Dinner Party

Donated by Earl & Susan Ruby, and Stephen Lysaght & Gary Anderson


Date: April 28, 2018

Price: $150 per person

Limit 8 people

Place: Orinda

Call the office 925-944-9352 or click the button below to join the cooking fun!

Master the art of Spanish cuisine! Join RBG members (and home chefs) Earl and Susan Ruby, in preparing two different versions of a Catalan-style Paella dinner at the beautiful home and garden of members Stephen Lysaght and Gary Anderson. Learn about the varieties of paella served in the restaurants along Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Includes instructions for preparing paella in your own home and an exclusive tour of the private hillside succulent garden and greenhouse of RBG docent Stephen! (For those with special dietary needs, be advised that the meal includes shellfish, pork, and poultry.)

Private Garden Tour & Picnic on Alcatraz Island

Donated by The Gardens at Alcatraz


Date: May 8th, 2018

Price: $100 per person

Limit 8 people

Place: San Francisco

Call the office 925-944-9352 or click the button below to tour and picnic on the beautiful Alcatraz Island!


Board the boat with the rest of the Alcatraz crew and head for the island! The award-winning Gardens of Alcatraz illustrate the importance of gardens to the human spirit as well as the ecological benefits and aesthetic possibilities of sustainable gardening.  Enjoy a peaceful 10-minute ferry ride to the island on a staff boat, separate from the tourist crowds. Get an insider’s look and an in-depth tour from Garden Manager Shelagh Fritz. You can opt to take the audio tour of the prison cells before enjoying a gourmet picnic lunch on the dock.

May is the time to visit for peak blooms and excellent bird watching. In the event of rain on May 8th, the tour will be on May 15th. You will depart from Pier 33 at 8:20 am and return by 1:00 pm. Lunch will be provided.

Oliver Ranch Tour

Donated by Steve Oliver & The Oliver Ranch Foundation

Date: Sep. 15th, 2018

Price: $125 per person

Limit 45 people

Place: Oliver Ranch, Sonoma County

Call the office 925-944-9352 or click the button below to join this exclusive tour!


Witness the spectacular sights of Oliver Ranch! Located in the heart of Sonoma County, 70 miles north of San Francisco, and known internationally for its wineries and scenic pleasures, the Oliver Ranch is home to 18 remarkable site-specific installations; the most recent of which is Ann Hamilton's The tower where commissioned dance, poetry, theatre, and music performances take place. The picturesque 100-acre property was originally bought by Steve and Nancy Oliver in 1981 to graze a few extra sheep from, as Steve says, “My daughter’s 4-H project gone bad.” The ranch’s evolution from exiled sheep quarters to world-renowned sculpture ranch was gradual and organic, a natural convergence of the Olivers’ longstanding passion for art and deep connection to the land.

Join Ruth Bancroft Garden friends for a bus trip to the Ranch, a 2.5 hour tour, complete with coffee and pastries, followed by a box lunch with adult beverages on the bus home to Walnut Creek Tours are led either by owner Steve Oliver or a professionally trained docent.  

The tours cover approximately 2.5 miles and 600 feet in elevation change (up and down). It can be likened to a light hike in the woods as paths are unpaved.  

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers: After-hours Tour

Donated by The San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers & Drew Risner-Davis

Date: January 17, 2018

Price: $75 each

Limit 10 people

Place: San Francisco Flower Conservatory

Call the office 925-944-9352 or click the button below to join this exclusive tour!

An after-hours tour of the San Francisco Flower Conservatory in Golden Gate Park! Starting at 5:00PM you will be greeted at the front entrance with wine and hors d’oeuvres by Garden members, Nina Dickerson, and Kristin Yanker-Hansen. Drew Risner-Davis, a Docent at the Conservatory, will lead us through each room, recounting the story of the plants and what happened during the remodel. You might even get a peek in the back rooms! The after-hours party will end with the delightful sights of the Conservatory's fantastic light show produced by Illuminate, who also produced the light show for the Bay Bridge.

Hike & Tour of Mangini Ranch

Donated by Save Mount Diablo

Date: March 24, 2018

Price: $50 each

Limit 20 people

Place: Concord, CA

Call the office 925-944-9352 or click the button below to enjoy exercise, fresh air, and fun!

Explore the beautiful Mangini Ranch, permanently preserved by Save Mount Diablo. Jim Cartan, Save Mount Diablo’s Stewardship Manager, will lead you through the 208-acre property which includes the headwaters of Galindo Creek, rolling grasslands, oaks, buckeyes, and a rare desert olive grove. Visit secret springs and keep your eyes out for bobcats or coyotes looking for breakfast, plus burrowing owls, quail, and many other feathered friends. Experience a wonderful piece of the permanently protected open space in Contra Costa County. This is a two hour, three mile hike with one strenuous climb, views of Walnut Creek, Concord, and Mount Diablo! 

Patio Garden Pizza Party

Donated by Billie Hopper & David Mitchell

Date: June 30, 2018 (or July 7th if there is a Spare the Air alert on previous date)

Price: $100 each

Limit 10 people

Place: Pleasant Hill, CA

Call the office 925-944-9352 or click the button below to join the pizza party!

Enjoy homemade gourmet pizza and drinks at the beautiful home and garden of Co-Executive Director, Billie Hopper and husband David Mitchell. The couple recently installed a wood fired pizza oven in their backyard and need your help breaking it in. Pizza, beer, wine, and good company make for the perfect summer evening!

Tequila Tasting & Soiree

Donated by Arthur Neudek & Gian Schauer

Date: June 9, 2018

Price: $150 each

Limit 20 people

Place: Walnut Creek, CA

Call the office 925-944-9352 or click the button below to join this fun event !

Expand your love of tequila, the wonderful juice of the agave plants! Join RBG members, Arthur Neudek and Gian Schauer in their backyard in Walnut Creek as they host tequila expert, John Flores, Bar Manager from Nido Kitchen & Bar in Jack London Square, Oakland. John will teach you about tequila crafted in small batches and produced in small villages in Mexico. John uses modern techniques and indigenous ingredients like cilantro and tamarind to pay homage to the true Mexican heritage of this drink. Learn about the varieties of tequila being produced today and the evolution of this provincial liquor. Arthur and Gian will provide Mexican foods to compliment the cocktails. Other drinks will be available.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.
Event and Media Sponsors

The success of our events depends on our generous media and event sponsors. Thank you!

Diablo Magazine














Grant Funders

The Ruth Bancroft Garden would like to recognize the following grant funders:

The Quest Foundation for funding our Education Coordinator’s position

The Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation for funding our directional signs

The California Horticultural Society for funding towards our restoration projects

The Bonita Garden Clubfor funding restoration and education projects


The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our nursery renovation


The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy